How To Read A Glasses Prescription

If you require vision correction after an eye exam, the optometrist or ophthalmologist will tell you if you’re farsighted, nearsighted, or if you have astigmatism. As with any eye diagnosis, you’ll be provided a prescription for corrective eyewear. However, knowing how to read an eye prescription can be tricky with the abbreviations that are used. The following information should help.

Abbreviations for Eye Prescription
Common eye prescription abbreviations include:

  • OS
  • OD
  • CYL
  • SPH

Let’s take a look at what these mean:

What is OD and OS?
The first step in reading an eyeglass prescription is knowing the difference between OD vs. OS, which are both abbreviations for Latin terms. OD eye stands for “oculus dexter,” which actually means “right eye.” OS eye is short for “oculus sinister,” which means “left eye.”

You may also notice the letters OU on your glass prescription, which means “oculus uterque,” which is a Latin phrase meaning “both eyes.”

We should note that while most eyeglass prescriptions will use the terms OD and OS, some doctors have modernized their forms by replacing OS with left eye (LE) and OD with right eye (RE).

Regardless of how your glass prescription reads, we have a large variety of prescription eyeglasses in many colors, styles, and designers. Check out our selection, and let us know if you have any questions!